Voters Want China Out of American Farmland

Americans firmly reject the Chinese agenda of acquiring U.S. assets, especially vital strategic ones like American farmland. Battleground polling reveals that this issue provides an opportunity for patriotic populist candidates to protect the heartland, provide a stark contrast vs. the leftist big business globalists, and reap substantial political benefits in November’s elections.

Of course, Chinese companies and nationals buy substantial real estate across the board in America, not just farmland. According to National Association of Realtors data, China remains by far the largest source of foreign purchases of U.S. homes. Last year, the Chinese bought $13.6 billion in American homes, more than double the $6.1 billion they spent the year before.

It is not surprising that the Chinese plutocrats race to get capital out of their home country, given the precarious state of the hugely indebted Chinese economy, especially the real estate sector. But these purchases massively elevate prices for U.S. citizens, at a time when housing affordability hits the worst levels ever for American citizens, as tracked by Goldman Sachs.

In addition to affordability issues, China’s aggressive purchases of strategic assets such as farmland raise serious national security concerns and threaten American sovereignty. This view is not some conspiratorial paranoia from the anti-CCP American political right, but rather a consensus opinion held by a supermajority of Americans.

As evidence, see the latest results of polling in the swing state of North Carolina from my populist labor advocacy group, the League of American Workers. We commissioned North Star Opinion Research to survey likely North Carolina voters, with a sampling evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, including leaners.

The results show a giant majority in favor of banning China’s purchases of farmland and other strategic assets in America. Specifically, on the question of farmland, 74% of North Carolina citizens said Chinese purchases should be prohibited and only 18% were in favor. This overwhelming rejection of Chinese acquisitions crossed all partisan and demographic lines. For example, only 29% of Biden voters favored allowing Chinese buyers and a paltry 15% of women.

Notably, in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation to ban Chinese purchases of farmland and other strategic real estate, such as near military installations. The North Carolina legislature currently considers similar prohibitions. But that legislation will only succeed if a Republican replaces the current Democratic governor in this November’s election.

This farmland question is especially pertinent for swing-state North Carolina because it represents, by far, the largest agricultural holdings of the Chinese in America, at 150,000 acres. Most of those assets flow from the Chinese purchase of Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in America, and a huge presence in North Carolina. Smithfield was purchased by affiliates of the Chinese Communist Party in 2013, with the consent of Barack Obama and then Vice President Joe Biden, despite fierce objections from conservatives at the time.

Regarding such corporate takeovers, we also posed this question to Tar Heel state voters:

A Chinese company bought Smithfield Foods of North Carolina, the largest pork producer in America, and a Japanese company plans to buy U.S. Steel. Should foreign companies be allowed to buy strategic U.S. assets such as food and steel production companies?”

A stunning 73% of North Carolina voters reject foreign corporate takeovers of strategic U.S. companies, and not just by the Chinese. Even purchases by an ally like Japan are not in our national interest, according to an overwhelming majority of North Carolina voters.

In the conservative western portion of North Carolina, in Appalachia, only 8% of voters support foreign corporate takeovers of strategic American companies like food and steel producers. Speaking of Appalachia, U.S. Senator JD Vance, who first gained acclaim for his autobiography Hillbilly Elegy, spoke out forcefully against the planned Japanese buyout of U.S. Steel, declaring, “I will do everything in my power to protect the future of our nation’s security, industry, and workers.”

Other candidates should follow JD’s lead, from the highest offices to local legislative races. Put simply, we need to make more “stuff” here in America, especially critical products like semiconductors, medicines, and steel. Moreover, the United States must insist that American citizens and companies control vital domestic resources like our abundant farmland.

The Chinese Communist Party poses the foremost global threat to America’s security, prosperity, and health. Battleground state voters embrace this reality and will rally in November to candidates willing to take strong patriotic populist stands to defend domestic jobs and American assets.

Steve Cortes is former senior advisor to President Trump, former commentator for Fox News and CNN, and president of the League of American Workers, a populist right pro-laborer advocacy group.


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About Steve Cortes

Steve Cortes is the founder of the League of American Workers. He formerly served as a senior advisor to President Trump, and a broadcaster with Fox News, CNBC, and CNN.

Photo: Three ripe ears of wheat against the background of a fragment of the flag of China

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